Dunns bring star power to Northern Southland
By Jonny Turner
You’re all invited to the Dunn show.
Between them, brothers Robert and Geoff Dunn are providing the biggest names on a huge Northern Southland Cup Day at Ascot Park on Wednesday.
Robert Dunn, together with training partner and daughter in law Jenna, bring their champion trotter Sundees Son to Southland for the first time to contest the Group 3 Southern Lights Trot.
Geoff Dunn, who trains with son James, brings the favourite Laver south for Group 3 Northern Southland Cup.
Sundees Son gave Omakau racegoers a big thrill when showing his class with a dominant win on January 2.
All signs point to those in attendance at Ascot Park getting a similar show on Wednesday with the trotter thriving under the care of John Dunn and Craig Edmonds since.
“He has come through the Omakau run really well,” Robert Dunn said.
“Craig and Johnny have been rapt with him.”
“Hopefully he can travel down really well and show everyone how good he is and he can get the kind of reception he got at Omakau which I know was very special.”
Sundees Son starts from the 30m back mark in Wednesday’s feature.
With just seven runners in the event, the champion trotter should make light work of that handicap.
“He has been one of those horses that if he is sound and he trots all the way he is very tough to bowl,” Dunn said.
“Unless they walk and sprint home or over some of the sprint distances he can be a bit more vulnerable.”
“But 2700m metres is right up his alley, off 30m in a small field, he shouldn’t be too far away from them.”
“I am sure Johnny will put him in the race and he can use the amazing stamina that he’s got.”
Backing Sundees Son to win at his $1.35 fixed odds quote won’t make too many punters rich on Wednesday.
Neither will taking a quinella with main rival Oscar Bonavena.
The TAB was offering just $1.35 fixed odds quinella price for the pair on Tuesday.
Punters may be best to look for a trifecta or to back another of Wednesday’s field for a place.
Andy Hall looks one horse that foots that bill.
The Nathan Williamson trained trotter worked home well to run second behind Sundees Son at Omakau.
Laver looks hard to beat in the Northern Southland Cup on the back on his excellent recent performances.
The pacer ran a strong second behind Alta Wiseguy in the 2000m Central Otago Cup at Omakau.
Stepping up to 2700m on Wednesday looks ideal for the Geoff and James Dunn trained runner.
Laver starts from the 10m mark in the Northern Southland Cup, which gives him a key headstart over main rivals Classie Brigade (30m) and One Change (20m).